Decatur Public Schools takes the safety and security of our students and staff very seriously. DPS security staff work to ensure the District is prepared and well-equipped to handle situations that arise during the school day as well as emergencies.
Security staff are involved each year in a variety of trainings, including those partnered with the Decatur Police Department and local emergency responders. These trainings help to improve their crisis management skills, and help them gain confidence that if a real situation were to occur, they would know what to do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are school buildings unlocked during the school day?
No, all schools are locked during the school day. Visitors must come to the main entrance and speak to a secretary or security staff prior to being allowed into the building. The secretary or security staff will ask for your name and ID, which will be entered into our Raptor visitor management system, prior to allowing entry into the building.
Do all DPS schools have a secure double entry?
The majority of DPS schools do have a secure double entry. Using the double entry system, visitors enter through the first set of doors which lead them directly to the main office. Visitors can only get through the second set of doors into the school if they register or check in with the main office and are allowed access. We are working to create double entries in our schools which do not yet have these. However, these schools are still secure, as the doors remain locked and visitors must speak with a secretary or security staff prior to being allowed into the building.
Does DPS have a police liaison in the school buildings?
Our District has four full-time school resource officers (SRO) assigned to assist all buildings within the District. These officers are in addition to DPS security staff, who are assigned to every school building in District #61.
Are metal detectors used in school buildings?
Metal detectors and security wands are in use at DPS middle and high schools and during athletic events. All DPS schools also do random searches to help ensure the safety of our staff and students.
How does DPS collaborate with first responders?
Our District works closely with our first responders — we have a great working relationship with both police and fire. It is not uncommon to see officers and firemen in our buildings, as it is important for them to get to know our staff and the layout of our buildings under non-stressful situations. It is essential that during an emergency, first responders know how students and staff are going to respond so they can respond to the emergency and quickly provide help for us. Collaboration is key, and sharing plans with our partners is invaluable.
Does DPS have a safety team?
Yes, the District has a Safety and Security Team consisting of district administrators, building administrators, staff, and law enforcement. The team discusses and makes decisions regarding safety and security along with updating emergency crisis plans.
How does DPS address threats?
The District takes all threats seriously. Anyone who becomes aware of a threat should immediately notify their building principal. If school is not in session and you cannot contact the building principal, contact the DPS Central Office or Decatur Police. DPS and Decatur Police work together on all threat assessments. The goal of the threat assessment is to make sure that everyone is safe and that the situation is handled appropriately and effectively.